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7 Questions to Eliminate Overwhelm

“If I got sick who would end up doing my work?”

  • “Would all of it need to get done?”
  • “Would some of my work be completed 80% as well by someone else?” (virtual assistant, junior staff in the office, contractor, etc.)

If so, find/hire that person and give them the majority of your work so you can focus on high-value activities that other people find difficult to replicate.

“What’s the worst that would happen if I failed at this?”

Write out the scenario with as much detail as possible – who’s involved and what does it look like.

  • “How certain am I that it would be that bad? How can I be so sure?” (poke some holes in your logic)
  • “How likely is it that I would bounce back? Have I bounced back from a similar event in the past? Is this time really that different?”

“What if I simply did nothing?”

  • “What effect would that have 10 Days From Now?”
  • “How about 10 Months From Now?”
  • “How about 10 Years From Now?”

Asking this question helps you realize that many things that you deem ‘critical’ have very little impact on your future. Asking this question helps you realize that very few things have a major impact on your life.

“Knowing that I’ll be dead soon, what’s truly important in my life?”

Death shouldn’t be something to scare you into doing something rash, but to help you remember what’s truly important.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” – Steve Jobs

“What ONE thing makes everything else seemingly unimportant or irrelevant at THIS TIME?”

  • “What’s not absolutely essential at this time?”

“It sounds crazy, but what if I didn’t need to achieve it all to be happy?”

  • “What if I could be just as happy without it? (extra money, status, promotion, etc.)

“What if I could achieve more by doing less?”

This question can often turn the feeling of overwhelm into a feeling of curiosity.